Illicit Drug Addiction Treatment

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Illicit DrugsWhat are Illicit Drugs?

Illicit drugs are substances that, by law, are illegal to make, sell, or use. Illicit drugs are highly addictive because the are known to change the physical and chemical structure of the human brain. Drug addiction is a devastating disease that affects millions of Americans every year, and many of them do not seek or receive the appropriate care they need. Once a person has become consumed by the addiction, recovery is nearly impossible without medical intervention. This is because many behavioral, psychological and life changes occur once the constant desire to find and take drugs takes over. Unless both the physical and mental aspects of drug dependence are addressed, it is very difficult to achieve sobriety.

Addiction to illicit drugs is characterized by the incessant and uncontrollable craving to seek out and consume the addictive substance. The user can no longer physically function without the use of the drug. This dependence can be both physical and psychological after an extended period of abuse.

What are the Signs of Addiction?

The signs of addiction vary depending on the drug, but many of the common social signs can be easier to identify. It’s important to be aware of the more common signs and symptoms associated with illicit drug abuse and dependence.

Some of the most common signs and symptoms of addition include:
  • Neglecting responsibility at home, work or school
  • Becoming isolated from friends and family
  • Changing social circles
  • Spending money and time attaining the drug
  • Loss of interest in once enjoyed activities
  • Feeling the need to use the drug constantly
  • Intense cravings for the drug
  • Needing more of the drug to achieve a satisfying high
  • Not being able to quit despite several attempts
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when the drug is not being used

Drugs that are more commonly abused can produce different effects and levels of addiction. Despite the ever-changing laws, marijuana is still the most used illicit drug in the United States. It is also considered a gateway drug to more addictive substances like cocaine, heroin and crystal meth.

What are the Dangers of Illicit Drugs?

Illegal street drugs such as heroin, crack, meth, etc can have devastating mental and physical health effects on the user. Since these drugs are highly addictive, any period of abuse can easily lead to dependence, and eventually, addiction. recovering from addiction can be a life-long battle. It takes dedication and commitment, as well as a strong support system and the right resources.Marijuana Use

The danger of illegal drugs is that many of them are laced with other drugs or synthetic chemicals that can lead to unknown negative consequences. Many times, the user does not know what they are getting or how much of it to take. All it takes is one hit to suffer from an overdose they may never wake up from.

Illicit drugs that are with other substances can often enhance the high, but also cause lasting damage to the body. Long-term addiction takes a drastic toll on the body, both physically and mentally. Unfortunately, many users are too fixated on their drug of choice to even consider the negative consequences. Because drugs cloud a person’s judgement, seeking, attaining and using the drug becomes their only priority.

Drug Addiction Treatment

Effective drug addiction treatment needs to focus on patients’ individual needs in order for it to be successful. Once a person enters a rehab facility, the first step involves assessing their current physical and mental state.

Once an appropriate course of treatment has been mapped out, detox is typically up first. This process allows the patient to break their physical dependence from their drug of choice. With the help of medications and the supervision of board-certified doctors and nurses, patients are able to detox in a safe and comfortable environment.

Once detox is complete, the mental and emotional healing can begin. Patients will undergo undergo behavioral therapies in both individual and group settings to help them identify their triggers, address the underlying causes of their addiction, and adopt new and healthier ways to cope. Treatment plans will also entail strategies for the prevention of relapse, alternative therapies, and aftercare services and resources.


  1. Abuse, N. I. (n.d.). Nationwide Trends. Retrieved October 13, 2013, from
  2. “Results From The 2013 NSDUH: Summary Of National Findings, SAMHSA, CBHSQ”. N.p., 2017. Web. 13 Oct. 2016.

Last updated on July 19th, 2017 at 07:59 pm

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